City of Firsts Adventure Park Features Revamped Facilities and New Amenities
City of Firsts Adventure Park is gearing up for its second season of affordable family fun. Located at 409 Arrow Street on the site of the old Kokomo Raceway, it is a destination where both residents and visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of activities for all ages. The determination and hard work of Jesse Gonzales and his parents Robyn and Danny, after they assumed ownership, breathed new life into the venue.
“Our son Jesse and his family moved back to Kokomo a few years ago and felt disappointed in the absence of family things to do right here in Kokomo, specifically outdoor activities that were affordable,” Robyn says. “They lived close to the old raceway that was once a thriving place to play, and thought it was a shame it was just sitting there falling apart. After making their thoughts known to my husband Danny, the two of them decided to see what they could do about it.”
When the family bought the property in late August of 2018, they pushed hard to get the park ready to open for the 2019 season. They rebuilt areas around the mini-golf courses, repaired the batting cages by adding new nets, and renovated the go-kart track. Old outside fencing was removed, and when the winter weather made it impossible to work outside they focused on the building interior, which houses an arcade and party room.
“We never thought it would be easy and it wasn’t,” Robyn says. “Most people would have likely had to hire out what Danny and Jesse did on their own. There are blood, sweat and tears embedded all over the City of Firsts Adventure Park. We landscaped the whole park, thanks to David Lind. He hauled in 22 tons of river rock and lots of mulch to accomplish that feat. Flowers and small trees were planted throughout. All the go-karts needed work to get them up and running.”
Robyn says the family also sought to involve sponsors in the facility.
“When we rebuilt the go-karts, the idea was born to ask for sponsors who would advertise by displaying their names and logos around the park with banners, go-kart wraps, stickers on batting helmets and other smaller areas around the park,” Robyn says. “Our cold calls resulted in rejections, but once the park opened I think [sponsors] could envision their names on those karts, so now we have several beautifully wrapped go-karts – thank you to Clifford Signs and our sponsors.”
The arcade is a free play area – after purchasing a bracelet, visitors can play all games without coins or tokens. Six softball and baseball batting cages can be used individually, and entire teams can come out to practice and improve their skills. New features have been added to the two 18-hole, rejuvenated miniature golf courses. Each individual activity is priced around $5 to $10, and prices increase to $60 if an entire team books two batting cages.
The venue’s big draw is the track, and the single and double go-karts. Go-kart options range from one-time single rides to multiple laps with two people in the cart, and prices start at $6. To ensure that all members of a family have a fun adventure, the kiddie track has been converted into a pedal kart track for smaller children.
City of Firsts Adventure Park is a great place to hold celebrations. The party room can hold 12 to 15 people, and there is a sitting area in the arcade room where customers can watch their children and enjoy a beverage. An open area has outdoor games such as cornhole, as well as a basketball court. Soda drinks, candy and snacks can be purchased onsite, and Scoops Ice Cream is located across the street.
Robyn says her family is in the planning stages for adding a pavilion, more landscaping, and additional activities for smaller kids on the kiddie track. The family also plans to eventually add more games to the arcade.
“People have asked if the park is for sale, mostly because one of our sponsors happens to be a realtor so her banner flies front and center,” Robyn says. “We have not made that move, but with Grand Park and new motels coming into Kokomo, if there’s someone out there who is able to come in and grow the park even bigger and better, we would certainly give it consideration. This has been a small family project so we are limited, but Kokomo is growing.”
City of Firsts Adventure Park is located at 409 Arrow Street in Kokomo. For more info, call 765-450-8155 or visit cityoffirstsadventurepark.com.